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Grandmother sheds street life past toward better future

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 6/28/2013 5:00 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- Graduations are always emotional events, but this week, a graduation that involved one person was especially moving.

It was for a grandmother who, a few years ago, escaped cocaine addiction and prostitution.

In the kitchen, Rasheka Hinton appears to be all smiles, but peel back the layers and you'll find a troubling past.

“I wasn’t the mother, daughter, sister that I was supposed to be,” Hinton said.

Out of the chef clothes, in a quiet hallway, she reveals she was once a cocaine addict -- and paying for the addiction led to another crime.

“It was my way of supporting my habit – prostitution,” she said.

That was her way of life for more than 20 years. In Michigan, it seemed like a never ending cycle; she was jailed five times. So she left to get a second chance in Las Vegas. However, her demons came back too quickly.

“I was just like, ‘Does anyone know where drugs are at?’ Somebody took me on the west side, and that's when I started my addiction really heavily. It was that easy; it was that easy,” Hinton said.

Before she knew it, it was her fifth time in jail.

“A lot of times, I was like, I can't believe I came all this way to bring the same lifestyle with me,” she said. “That’s what I really wanted to get away from.”

Her way out was the court's Women In Need Program, which is offered to those who find themselves in a cycle of crime. Could Hinton take on the requirements, drug treatment and counseling?

She answered that this week, graduating from the program and saying goodbye to her past.

Now she's looking forward to seeing family in Michigan and perhaps a restaurant of her own.
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